Vincenzo Natali


I know what you’re thinking – another haunted house movie? And to that I say “Yes. Hush, there is a reason we’re on to a fifth Paranormal Activity movie.” Now here’s where Haunter is going to be different. Haunter is told from the ghosts’ perspective, and these spirits aren’t so keen on being dead. In fact, teenage Lisa (Abigail Breslin) and her entire family aren’t quite aware that they’re haunting their own house until it occurs to them that they’re reliving the same day over and over again. But once Lisa figures out that she was murdered, she reaches out to the teenage girl currently residing in her old room to stop her from suffering the same fate. Beetlejuice this is not; it doesn’t look like there will be any fun interdimensional bonding or ghost pranks going on between the teenage girls. Expect lots of jumpy shots of ghosts and/or killers appearing over shoulders in mirrors and flashes of shadowy figures in door frames. Those are the rules for haunted house movies, I didn’t makes them. Check out the trailer after the break.



It all kicks off at 9am Pacific. After raising $10,000 for FilmAid, David Chen and the /Filmcast family are making good on their offer to rock a 10-hour podcasting marathon, and since it’s done like a reverse-telethon, no one will be constantly promising you tote bags in return for your money. That leaves more time to talk with an excellent lineup of guests. The sad part? No tote bags. Rian Johnson is batting first, followed by the 10am segment with me and David Wain, followed by an 11am with Damon Lindelof. And then, 7 more hours of filmmaker guests and shenanigans. So bookmark this page and plan to camp out there all day today. If you need more incentive, here’s the full lineup:



Genre filmmaker Vincenzo Natali takes a whipping for his taste. Up to now the director of Splice has only made original properties, no adaptations, sequels, or reboots. Natali may be adapting Neuormancer and High Rise at the moment, but even there he isn’t taking the easiest path. Both are niche properties, something Natali is well-aware of when it comes to the two books (and to his own films). At this year’s South by Southwest he premiered what he considers his most accessible movie yet, Haunter. Natali describes the subversive ghost story as a mix of Igmar Bergman and John Hughes, making for an odd but promising sounding combo. We spoke to Natali about the film before the festival, and here’s what he had to say about Haunter, the difficulty of making movies nowadays, and more:


Neuromancer Concept Art

The reason we call the internet Cyberspace is because of William Gibson‘s “Neuromancer.” The seminal cyberpunk novel quietly crept into the subconscience of our culture – somehow capturing both the 1980s zeitgeist and the feeling of the future to come. Now, after several directorial attempts, Vincenzo Natali (Splice, Cube) is the latest to take a stab at it, and a new website featuring a bit of concept art offers hope that the film will actually come to light this time around. GFM Films’ website also claims that offers have gone out to Liam Neeson and Mark Wahlberg to play the lead roles, Armitage and Case. Whether they take the roles, and whether the film moves forward after that, is something we’ll have to wait to see. Either way, it’s exciting momentum. Here’s the plot synopsis from the production:



Young Abigail Breslin seems bent on beefing up her acting resume with a plethora of very different roles – often going darker than her Little Miss Sunshine break-out role and signaling her interest in turning into one heck of a serious actress. Next up for Breslin is a role in Ender’s Game, a horrific turn in The Hive, one half of a sex-pact-making set of BFFs in A Virgin Mary, and my personal favorite – as a homicidal teen sister in the fact-based The Class Project. And that’s not all. Variety reports that Breslin will now also star in Vincenzo Natali‘s (Splice) next film, a supernatural horror flick called Haunter. The film is billed as “a reverse ghost story,” with its focus on Breslin’s ghost character, not the probably-terrified humans living in her old house. Like a modern-day Casper, Breslin’s character is friendly and unable to move past her ghostly un-living. But she’s not just hanging around the house she died in for fun – she has to save her “present-day, living counterpart” from the same fate. Sounds…haunting.  



We continue our journey through a month of frightening, bloody and violent films. For more, check out our 31 Days of Horror homepage. Synopsis: Hipster scientists Clive Nicoli (Adrien Brody) and Elsa Kast (Sarah Polley) have humanity’s best interest in mind as they try to genetically engineer animals that can revolutionize medicine. After their would-be humanity-saving experiments tear each other apart, Clive and Elsa create a new creature with human DNA. Thus the couple begins a downward spiral of bad decisions with the best of intentions. Miraculously, this new creature doesn’t die, so they secretly keep it alive in the lab, hoping it can lead to medical advancements. Silly hipster scientists. As the experiment (which they’ve affectionately named Dren, which is “nerd” spelled backwards) matures, Clive and Elsa soon realize they are in way over their heads… and maybe a little turned on.



More than a decade before Splice (and most notably before Saw) director Vincenzo Natali made a film called Cube wherein a group of strangers woke up inexplicably in a maze of cubes that had been booby trapped with an appetite for destruction. In many ways a forerunner to the Saw films, Cube might now replace the horror franchise as Lionsgate’s go-to for October. According to Shock Til You Drop, the company is planning on returning to the film with the geometrically accurate Cube 3D. It’s unclear whether it will be a sequel, prequel or a remake, but it could definitely end up as a pinch hitter for a trap-based horror franchise that made Lionsgate an intense amount of money. Hopefully, if the movie is successful, Lionsgate can set the next one in the arctic and call it Ice Cube. If you haven’t seen the two movies that seeped out of the original like a pus, consider yourself lucky. However, if Natali is back on board, there might be something special brewing here.


The Week That Was

You wouldn’t know it if you aren’t a top-ranking member of the FSR staff, but it’s been a busy week around here.



This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr grades four new films: Get Him to the Greek, Splice, Marmaduke and Killers.


Vincenzo Natali Splice

Jack Giroux sits down with Splice director Vincenzo Natali for a spoiler-filled conversation about his new movie, his ability to capture tone, and his love for some classic Universal monsters.



Neil makes a triumphant return to the Magical Studio in the Sky and celebrates the occassion by seeing one of the four movies opening this week. Sadly, Kevin is not that much farther ahead, having only seen one and 9/10th of another due to a freak lightning storm.


Splice Movie

I demand some sort of concrete idea buried within the futuristic society or the advanced science that is metaphorically explored or I expect it to pull double duty as a good horror film. I think Splice does both remarkably well. In fact, it’s one of the better Sci-Fi films I have seen in quite some time.



Warner Bros. has released one final internet only trailer for Splice in their desperate grab for attention at the box office this coming weekend. We can’t blame them.



As you’ll see throughout the day, I’m catching up on a weekend lost to travel and various events of boozing, which means that we’ve missed a few really great trailer releases. I wouldn’t hold these from you, dear reader, as even if they are late — they are still very interesting.



‘Splice’ recycles a lot of horror movie conventions, but does so in a unique, genuinely weird way.

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published: 01.25.2015
published: 01.24.2015
published: 01.24.2015
published: 01.24.2015

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